Treasury Approved LSAG Anti-Money Laundering Guidelines

According to Money Laundering Regulations 2017the guidelines now have their full place, including in regulation 86(2)(b)(ii).

This specific rule states that when deciding whether a practitioner or law firm has committed an offense by not following the rule, the court must decide whether the guidelines have been followed.

It is also relevant when the imposition of civil penalties is contemplated (under regulation 76).

Now that the guidelines are approved by HM Treasury, businesses should take them into account when deciding how to comply with the regulations, in particular:

  • rule 19 – policies, controls and procedures
  • policy 21 – internal controls
  • rule 24 – training
  • Regulation 35 – Enhanced Due Diligence for Politically Exposed Persons

Summary of Changes

  • Updates to Beneficial Owner Identity Verification (6.14.10), which outlines the expectations of supervisors and HM Treasury that new beneficial owners are verified, in general, to the same standard as you would apply to a client who is a natural person
  • The UK list of high-risk third countries replaces the EU lists (5.6.2.1, which relates to risk assessments, and 6.19.1, which relates to EDD)
  • Small clarifications to the section on professional secrecy, particularly where it may not apply because you know or suspect that a money laundering offense has been committed, citing the need to make a suspicious activity report (13.4.2 and 13.4.3)
  • Clarification on what is not “an arrangement” for POCA purposes (16.3.6) and further clarification on the defense of “adequate consideration” (16.4.2)

There are several other minor edits (mostly fixes and/or formatting changes).